COLUMBUS, Ohio – In its final tune up before Big Ten play resumes, Ohio State used a strong second half to snag its ninth win of the season, defeating Alabama A&M 90-59 on Thursday afternoon.
Brice Sensabaugh once again led the Buckeyes with 21 points. Justice Sueing added 18 points while Bruce Thornton had 12 points and five assists. Zed Key was a point away from a double-double, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds.
How it happened
The Buckeyes and Bulldogs played a tight first half, with neither team taking more than a seven-point advantage. Ohio State opened the game on an 11-4 run thanks to seven points by two-time reigning Big Ten Freshman of the Week, Brice Sensabaugh. The first-year guard had nine of the Buckeye’s first 13 points.
The Bulldogs would not allow the Buckeyes to pull away, however, knocking down three triples in the early stages. Ohio State led for a majority of the first half, but the Bulldogs grabbed their first lead of the game (33-32) with 1:45 to play in the half as Brandon Powell banked in a three. The advantage lasted all of 16 seconds before freshman Bruce Thornton knotted the game and junior Zed Key took the lead back with a bucket to give the Buckeyes a 35-33 advantage. Justice Sueing would add a free throw to push the score to 36-33 at the break.
Ohio State turned on the offense in the second stanza, going on a 19-4 run that spanned both halves to take a stranglehold on the outcome. Sueing opened the scoring, cutting through the defense for a two-handed dunk. He tallied eight points in the first five minutes of the second half and became the second Buckeye in double figures.
The hosts controlled the second half of the game, outscoring the Bulldogs 54-26 while shooting 20-of-34 from the field in the frame.
Brice Sensabaugh – Sensabaugh continued the torrid pace to his inaugural season as the freshman tallied 21 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the field. The performance marked his third 20-point outing of the season and the third-straight shooting over 50% from the field. Since entering the starting lineup in December, Sensabaugh has reached double figures in every game and is averaging 18.7 points per contest.
Justice Sueing – The Buckeye senior did a majority of his damage in the second half, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the closing 20 minutes. The performance marked his third-straight in double figures.
Bruce Thornton – Thornton posted a team high five assists on the night while reaching double figures for the sixth-straight game. Thornton has been impressively consistent as he has now scored at least 10 points and dished five assists in four-consecutive outings.
Assists – When the Buckeyes share the basketball, they are tough to stop. Ohio State led by three after the opening 20 minutes and had just six assists. In the second half, the hosts assisted on 13 of their 20 made baskets, and 12 different Buckeyes scored.
The Buckeyes ring in the new year with a Big Ten matchup at Northwestern. The game against the Wildcats in Evanston will tip on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET. All the action can be found on the Big Ten Network.
COURTESY OHIO STATE ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS